“Overall I believe the project was interesting and motivated many students to look at their own sustainability habits and decisions. It was also very helpful to have the direct support from BTCEA via phone, e-mail or workshops […] Prepping this unit was only possible due to the SLS curriculum prepared by the Be the Change Earth Alliance, and we found the way the materials were organized work well. We plan to repeat this process with another group of grade ten’s at the end of our last term this year.”
Students were introduced to the concept of Sustainability and the inquiry question, “How do choices of food and household products affect our personal and environmental health?”
We introduced the students to the SLS materials through a series of short videos that covered the 7 Action Packs: Genetically Modified Organisms, Food Additives, Fresh and Local, Toxicants, Plastics and Organics.
They [students] then worked in groups on action packs of their choice, and shared their conclusions using a variety of presentation media. All of the students were present to give their presentations, an extraordinary feat given the anxiety and avoidance behaviours many have exhibited in the past.
The staff found the attitude of the students altered as a result of the change in class structure and process. The role of staff shifted from directing to guiding the process, and as a result, confrontation declined and willingness to share and discuss controversial topics increased.
Here’s a look at some of the Student’s Reflections:
“I found that I was more motivated to do my work outside of school”
“By talking to my family about the benefits of buying locally grown foods, we decided to purchase our produce at local farmers’ markets in order to improve our health, and to give back to our community. It feels really great knowing that you’re contributing to something that isn’t destroying our planet.”